FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Rochelle Township High School student-athlete Aubrey Headon has been well traveled this summer, but that didn’t stop her from bringing home five medals including four gold medals at the 2018 Turnstone Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals this past week.
Coming off a strong performance overseas at the IWAS Youth World Games in Ireland, Headon finished first for T-35 athletes in four events at the Junior Nationals including the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the shot put and the long jump. Headon earned a silver medal by placing second in the discus with a throw of 12.87 meters.
Headon won the long jump with a leap of 2.42 meters, and her heave of 5.34 meters in the shot put was strong enough for first place as well. Headon clocked in at 41.61 seconds to win the 200-meter dash, and she took first in the 100-meter dash, which she said is her favorite running event to compete in. Headon also said she broke two national records during the week.
“I didn’t do as well as I planned but I was happy to still bring home four gold medals and break two national records,” Headon said. “It was nice catching up with some people that I haven’t seen in a long time, and that’s probably the biggest thing I enjoy… I like being able to travel and meet other people who have the same disability as me or other disabilities.”
Headon participates with the Rochelle Area Track Club over the summer and she also competes with the U.S. Paralympic Team. Now that her track and field season is over, Headon will gear up for her senior year at RTHS, and her next athletic endeavors will take place in the swimming pool. While she doesn’t use her legs in the water like she does on the track, she said that track and field helps build up her upper-body strength for the swim season.
“It kind of keeps me conditioned but swimming is an entirely different sport as far as conditioning goes,” Headon said. “I don’t use my legs at all so I rely more on my upper-body strength. Throwing events kind of help me.”